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Maccabi SA’s new boss

  • Sport20July
Jarred Gronemann has only been in his new job for a couple of weeks, but already he has set about mapping the way ahead for Maccabi South Africa.
by JACK MILNER | Jul 19, 2018

Gronemann, 41, was appointed the new Maccabi SA sports director, replacing Alain Nathan.

Growing up, Gronemann only had a small connection with Maccabi.

“I’ve always been a Zionist. I love Israel, have always identified with my Jewish heritage and loved the Maccabi brand.”

Gronemann has always been a keen sportsman. “I studied sports management and played serious sport as a youngster. I decided early on that I wanted to make a living out of it.”

He brings a wealth of experience to the position, having worked in the South African sports industry for almost 20 years. His coaching and operational experience includes the organisation of numerous soccer events, development programmes and coaching academies. More recently, he managed the successful Blue Label Alexandra Schools Cricket Project.

Gronemann is planning to make the role of Maccabi more relevant in general to South African sport, especially among the younger generation.

“Maccabi is in the process of altering its Constitution. One of the biggest things is to make Maccabi a more identifiable name. At the moment, it is seen as a ‘once every four years’ experience,” said Gronemann.

“Obviously, the Maccabiah plays a large role, but I’m keen to make the Maccabi brand more relevant on a day-to-day basis.”

If Maccabi is more attractive to youngsters, they will be a lot more prepared when the time comes to selecting teams, according to Gronemann. “We are organising more tours inside the country. We recently had a Maccabi tour from Western Province.

“We are a volunteer organisation, so we need people to give us their time, but we have a few sports where people aren’t getting involved.”

The focus has been on the youth for many years now and from Israel’s point of view, this is worthwhile because the majority of people making aliya are from the younger generation. “The Maccabiah is still the third-largest mass participation event in the world behind the Olympic Games and the World Cup.”

The other area that needs urgent attention, according to Gronemann, is raising finance for youngsters so they don’t miss out on the experience or any other major event.

Already on Gronemann’s radar is the European Maccabi Games, which kick off on 29 July next year in Hungary.

Fundraising will begin on 26 August, when Maccabi will be holding a “Dads and Lads Cricket Fun Day” at the Sandton Indoor Action Sports Arena.

Maccabi SA chairman Cliff Garrun welcomed Gronemann to the organisation. “He brings vast experience and knowledge to this role, which will be very valuable as we continue to pursue our mission to provide a meaningful sporting programme of participation and competition.”

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